Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fear as a Reflection of the Cost Mentality

Many entrepreneurs deal with the mentality that perfection and exactness are essential to success. I had the opportunity to hear about this extensively from one of my local, favorite businesses and the owner today. Thankfully, our relationship is very much based on my being a friend and customer, so listening and connecting is what it’s really all about.

If you find you’re ever trapped in the model of doing it all yourself even when you have support staff to do things for you, it’s time to check into fear motivations.

One of the confusions from the cost-measurement model as the only way to assess your business is to encourage fear of failure. Who in this market can afford for anything to not work? Actually, you can't afford for things to be perfect.

For a small business, the fear imposed by this as the primary assessment model can lead to micro-management and over-investment in doing all the work in your business. If you’re sure you are the only one who can do it right, you likely have a subconscious belief and fear that it’s got to be perfect for success to happen. The cost-measurement model can support attention to negatives and eliminate your ability to notice what is working

The most disturbing part of this pattern is how a person can end up focused on all the things that didn’t go well and totally miss what IS working. And the loss from this pattern is almost immeasurable.

If you find yourself in this place, one of the negatives is that undermines confidence, both your own and the person who deals with your expression. This creates a setup where someone learns to stop listening to you and you reinforce your ability to not value what is going well. Everyone’s satisfaction drops, along with everything else.

You reinforce your focus on what’s not working in your business, what you’re unhappy with. This simply guarantees more of what you don’t want. And in reality the best way to improve your business, your life, is to expand what is working well.

So if you find yourself in this pattern, amp up your awareness and discipline to work the well-known “good news sandwich.” Tell what’s good, describe opportunities for improvement, and close with more what’s good.

Perfectionism is a habit that limits you and your success. Notice and change this one for a happier life and stronger business!


Heidi Sue Roth

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